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Tully’s Kennel took grieving pet parents’ money, then sold land they buried pets on

By on July 25, 2017
Foxy Forrest

***Editor’s note: I’m Eric, editorial manager at Pets in Omaha. Though I have written 700+ articles you’ll find here, only a few include the first person “I.” This one does as it feels especially yucky, the business of digging up bodies- and in this case, I’m not speaking figuratively. What I’m basing the information below on comes from a news report and reliable folks in the companion animal community, but if there’s any discrepancy or disagreement with what I’m purporting to be factual, feel free to contact me through the Pets in Omaha contact page.***

Often, we hear phrases like “good death” or “dying with dignity.” Those things don’t involve being laid to rest only to find the ground you’re in is unkempt, owned by someone other that the person who buried you, or no longer considered sacred. In this case, one has to wonder if the ground was ever considered sacred.

That said, a recent WOWT-6 News story by investigative journalist Mike McKnight will make your skin crawl. One pet owner cited in the story says it “hurts her heart” to think about what Tully’s has done to the remains of her “children,” both cats and a dog.

At 84th and Fairview Road in Sarpy County, a track of land is home to a pet cemetery where Tully’s had buried and housed cremated pet remains. Tully’s no longer owns the land it’s on (they sold it to a couple years ago) and the cemetery is hardly recognizable. Overgrown, littered with tree branches and even uprooted trees, with no timetable or guarantee it will be cleaned up, the place is far from a peaceful respite pet owners can be accept as their animals’ final resting place. Click here to see video. 

The future of the place is also unknown. Who will own it? Will the cemetery be saved? Will animal remains be considered sacred or considered at all? These are questions pet owners who paid to have their animals laid to rest must consider. There is good news, though…

A Tully’s spokesperson was cited in the Channel 6 story, saying that “he’s willing to help any pet owner exhume remains for either cremation or reburial someplace else.” The condition of the cemetery since recent storms makes it hazardous for anyone to try and do it themselves, he says.

So, if you are a pet parent who was invested enough in a sacred memorialization of your animal, in a cemetery meant for pets and their human companions to use, you are likely very effected still by the thought of your pet’s passing. How would a person like that feel about excavation of pet remains? Likely, it’s not something they thought they’d ever want to do, let alone have to do. 

When you bury a loved one, you assume they’ll remain in that spot. Not only are contractual expectations in play, but moral and ethical ones are too. It’s all very icky to think about.

 

You may choose not to believe that Tully’s sells dogs from puppy mills or breeds animals in their facility, though proof is easy to find (that’s another article; ask us if you’d like to see it). You may think it’s a great place to board your animal as karmic purity of the place probably doesn’t affect your decisions. It would be hard, however, to argue that selling a service like pet burial and cremation is something Tully’s (or anyone) can go back on. It’s, at least, distasteful and it makes us question everything else Tully’s does.

Concern for the physical well being of animals is not paramount in a place that sells dogs from commercial breeders. Emotional well being of its customers also seems to be something Tully’s is unconcerned with. Tully’s manager, Tom Westman, said in a recent KMTV-3 News Now article that everyone at Tully’s loves animals. What a strange way of expressing love this is.

For some, I suppose it’s true: nothing is sacred anymore.

 

About Eric Forrest

Eric is a pet lover, bookworm and dad. He's had 5 family dogs, 4 cats, a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health, and two ducks. Cats are his preference, but Eric loves all little critters.

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